Monday 21 April 2014

Gayle Killilea has a ‘privacy right’ on her bank accounts, US court hears

Gayle Killilea
Gayle Killilea

GAYLE Killilea, the wife of bust developer Sean Dunne, has a 'privacy right' on her bank accounts, her lawyers have argued in a US Court.

Her lawyer Eric Henzy told the court that it is "no one’s business where she buys her groceries or how much she spends on them”.

He added that the NAMA would need to prove what they're looking for is relevant to the litigation because Ms Dunne has the "right to privacy as a bank customer" and details of personal purchases "aren't relevant."

When Judge Alan Shiff put it to NAMA lawyer Thomas Curran that it doesn't matter where Ms Killilea buys her carrots, Mr Curran replied: "If she's buying them for her husband it does”.

Ms Dunne is attempting to delay NAMA sifting through her financial affairs after the state agency served subpoenas on Credit Suisse, First Republic and property agent Coldwell Banker for Ms Dunne's records.

NAMA, which is attempting to block Sean Dunne from being discharged from his debt in the US, allege he fraudulently transferred assets to his wife before filing for bankruptcy in Connecticut in March.

The Carlow-born businessman was adjudicated bankrupt by the High Court in Dublin in July in seperate proceedings, a decision he is challenging.

Lawyers for Ms Dunne argued in the bankruptcy court in Connecticut yesterday that requests by the toxic bank to analyse her financial records are too broad.

They requested the subpoenas be quashed, with NAMA given the right to re submit them at a later date.

Mr Henzy claimed that because Mr Dunne was facing bankruptcy proceedings in Ireland and Connecticut, the matter may never make it to trial in the US.

Ms Dunne's lawyer told the court that it was still unclear how the two cases were going to work together and right now it didn not make sense to proceed with a far reaching probe in to his client’s financial affairs.

Meanwhile Mr Curran for NAMA told the court that deciding if Mr Dunne still enjoyed the benefits of his money through his wife was central to the case.

The NAMA lawyer accused Mr Dunne of "trying to plan this grand scheme of hide the ball" until he can figure out where he will have the best bankruptcy outcome.

Mr Curran added that NAMA believe Mr Dunne has devised a scheme to place his assets in to the name of his wife and examining her financial history was "imperative."

Ms Dunne's argument that the matter might not go to trial for at least nine months was "laughable" he added.

Me Curran said that nine months in the context of this case was a "nanosecond" - the agency had been attempting to get discovery from Mr Dunne for a year and "we have received not a shred of evidence."

Judge Alan Shiff is considering the application.

The former 'Baron of Ballsbridge' will face questions from his creditors at a hearing in Connecticut on December 12.

Irish Independent

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